Star Wars Force Friday Let Down and Analysis

ejgpxoFEverywhere I looked online this weekend, Star Wars collectors were pissed off. From early spring Sept 4th was deemed THE day to celebrate the launch of the merchandise for “The Force Awakens” and press released promised toys galore. All retailers kept what was actually coming under wraps to cloak it all in secrecy in order to build excitement. The couple of weeks beforehand images started surfacing online, leaked products found their way on ebay, and even though fans were not thrilled about the basic 5 points of articulation figures that were coming, they were desperate to get their hands on them and experience the magic of a new chapter in our favorite Galaxy Far, Far Away.

For those who attended the midnight releases, many came out pissed off, and near empty handed. It was like Black Friday for geeks and the only victors were the scalpers. I for one have never done the midnight toy release thing. I live in Phoenix, it’s still over 100 degrees here in Sept, I’m not standing in line w/ a bunch of sweating fanboys bitching over how much they hated the prequels and how they’re expecting the sequels to be SOO much better without George at the helm. Yeah, no thanks.

IMG_1388rInstead I waited until daytime on the 4th to see if I might find anything. I knew my chances of finding anything would be slim at best, particularly since I waited until evening to venture out. I mentioned a couple of possible locations to my sister to head to that were very far and out of the way and she immediately shot me down, “I’m not driving that far.” So instead she suggested a Target branch that was up the road from us rather than the one right in town (which I dismissed because the store was small and I knew it would be picked clean.) The Target we went to was out of the way, not directly off of the freeway, however I didn’t have that high of hopes.

IMG_1394rWhen we got inside and got to the toys my sister was dazzled by the giant talking stuffed Chewbacca (who was adorable.) I thought the giant talking display BB-8 was adorable too, then I looked at the racks. I was utterly unimpressed by the complete lack of figures. There was one 6″ Chewbacca that I immediately passed on since he looked exactly like the standard release from a while ago. They had a few of the Jakks Pacific 20″ figures including Poe Dameron. I contemplated picking him up but ultimately passed since I wasn’t sure yet how (or where) I was going to display my TFA collectibles. I did find 12″ figures of Finn and a First Order Stormtrooper that I picked up. And they had Rey w/ her Jakku Speeder 3 3/4″ figure. I also found a Lego version of this as well.

I felt sad.

IMG_1390rNo remote control BB-8’s, no Rey figures, no Pop! Figures to be seen anywhere, just tons of micro machines and other kids interactive toys that didn’t interest me. I was feeling so down, I almost picked up a Chewbacca Nerf Bowcaster since Nerf wars are big at my office. I put it down though, I don’t collect weapons, I like figures.

Wandering around the store my spirits lifted as we reached the far back corner – back by the remnants of the school supplies were a few hidden racks of Star Wars stuff! I found a 6″ Black Series Finn (Woot!) a Pop! Finn figure, a Poe Dameron 3 3/4″ figure, and Rey’s speeder micro machine. They had some other stuff, like TFA Monopoly (that I REALLY want,) and they had a Luke Skywalker Potato head but I knew I had surpassed my spending limit and after confirming that nothing else good had been squirreled away anywhere I left with my purchases.  My sister bought a Vader T-shirt.

IMG_1391rEven though I know I did better than some people did, I felt bad, I really wanted a couple more Rey items. I desperately wanted her 6″ figure w/ BB-8 and a Pop figure. The rational part of my brain kept saying “don’t worry, it’s not like they’re not going to make more.” But the part of me that wanted to be a part of the frenzy was annoyed.

Later that night I started perusing online to see what might be available. I was dismayed to see Target, TRU, Walmart, and KMart had ZERO TFA toys left. The Disney Store was out of their cool 6″ die cast figures. They had a few things, but I was now no longer interested. Target being out of everything sucked in particular since they had a $25 off of $100 coupon that was utterly useless since they wouldn’t even let you back order things.

IMG_1395rI then climbed into the scum and villainy of ebay to see if maybe I could score a couple of things there. Lo and behold I found where all of the scalpers from midnight ended up. Really folks, BIN of $25 + shipping for the Titanium Micro-Machines Rey Speederbike that I picked up retail for $4.99?  I rather thought $4.99 was a rip off, much less $25. I did manage to find a Hot Topic Exclusive Rey Pop! Figure at a decent price (I didn’t even know that exclusive was out there) and I got a Rey ring that Walmart gave out. I then put a 6″ Rey on pre-order online and my TFA weekend was over.

So the real question is what the hell happened? WIMG_1396rhy were retailers so sorely under stocked? If you think being a fan who didn’t get merchandise sucked, think of the kids out there who might’ve actually wanted toys, had to wait until they got out of school, and found nothing on the shelves. The retailers put out everything that they had, gave a 3 per item limit per shopper, and then had nothing else to put out when the shelves emptied. All of the employees had no idea when they would be restocked.

There are likely several factors into the under estimation of interest in the toys.

  1. Slow Sales: The last 2 times that there were big toy event days were for “Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith” – both toy lines were drastically cut after the disastrous over glut of merchandise from “The Phantom Menace.” Sales even then were pretty weak. And no, it wasn’t because the hate-boys bitched over the prequels – it was because of the economy. 2002 and 2005 were right in the prime of the big Recession. Jobs and money were scarce during that time and overall extra spending ground to a halt across the board. People just didn’t have the money for collectibles, in fact during those years, it was a boon for people with money because many collectors had liquidated their collections in order to make ends meet. These are the sales numbers that Hasbro would’ve been looking at along w/ Clone Wars sales over the years between. Kids just didn’t get toys during the Recession, they were a luxury item that parents couldn’t afford.
  2. Kids today aren’t playing with toys. Well that’s what people WANT you to think. Let me rephrase that, kids who are in upper middle class families whose parents have extra income still aren’t buying their kids toys. They’re giving them phones and video games as means to keep them quiet and busy and have toys that don’t make messes. Lower income kids have some toys and they love toys, but their parents can’t afford tons of them. I hit thrift shops all of the time as a hobby and every kid who enters a store is in high heaven making a giant mess of the toys in the store. Why? Because they likely don’t have them at home.
  3. Collectors BITCH. I read a blog post somewhere where a guy was talking to a Hasbro rep about the 7 POA 12″ figures and the blogger said “well nobody wants those…” the rep in turn said, “No, collectors don’t want them. They are in fact a corner stone of our merchandising market that we can’t go without.” All new collectors have the 12″ figures in their collection, they’re big, cheap, indestructible, great molds, and they’re a great value for the money. The cheaper 5POA 3 3/4″ figures are also designed for kids. They remind me of the vintage original figures. Vintage figures today look as good as they did back when Star Wars first came out – they took a beating and maybe are discolored and lacking paint but for the most part they’re in good shape still. The hugely articulated 3 3/4″ figures from recent years? I always find those at thrift shops in pieces. They’re fun to display but they are not great for kids to play with. The more articulation also means that the figures will be priced higher – which is always met w/ pissy groans from completionist collectors. Fans like the 6″ Black series line, but the cost keeps a lot of people from diving in. Whether they groan over prices, mold likenesses or even packaging styles it never seems that collectors are happy. It’s no wonder Hasbro doesn’t know what to do to satisfy them considering the fans themselves really don’t know what they want.
  4. Big Box Retail overall is a dying breed. All of the big box type stores are dying. Even Walmart and Target which always seem to be doing well w/ their packed parking lots report huge financial losses each year. If you look closely at the shelves you’ll see not many items of anything in particular are ever available. KMart is on it’s way under with locations closing (including sadly the one by me.) Target is closing down a ton of locations up in Canada. The big box stores are scared to have too much merchandise on hand that they might have to discount and later sell at a loss.

IMG_1397rWhat if anything has changed? The biggest thing that Hasbro and Disney/LFL has failed to take into consideration is that the economy is much improved over what it was back in 2002-2005. People have more disposable income than they did 12-9 years ago. Fans who sold off their vintage collections are duking it out online to win back the toys that they parted with when they needed to pay bills or downsize their living arrangements during the Recession.

People might not be making tons more money, but jobs are steadier, and we’ve learned to budget. Collecting is one of those things that if you’re stressed in life, getting a new item to add to your collection really can make a crappy day much brighter. They’re also forecasting another enormous bad winter for the Middle of the US and East Coast. Bad weather is great for collectibles sales. People are stuck inside, they spend time wanting to fill holes in their collections as a bright spot during bleak, dark winter days.

More merchandise will be coming to restock shelves. We still have only heard of a handful of higher end collectibles that are planned, plus we have yet to see anything Han, Leia, Luke related. BB-8 has already proven to be a monstrous hit – I’m expecting more merchandise surrounding him to be released. Let’s just hope that Hasbro, Disney, and LFL realize that demand is high and that they crank out enough merchandise to fill the needs of their loyal fanbase who made the Star Wars Empire as grand and long lasting as it is today, because the Force has awakened and fans really would love to empty their wallets to get a piece of it.

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Star Wars Shrine Photos Update

It’s been a while since I updated the photos of my shrine. With “The Force Awakens” coming around the corner a trip to IKEA will be in order. I need to do some cleaning and reorganizing in my office to get about 5 more bookcases in here and maybe a new Detolf. Until then everything is pretty packed in the shelves that I have. You can peruse my entire gallery over on my Facebook page, since my site here is almost out of image storage!

A few examples!

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Posted in Shrine Photos

Star Wars The Force Awakens Hasbro Toy Previews

Star Wars HQ has this awesome video that they made showcasing some of the upcoming 3 3/4″ scale figures, vehicles, and 6″ figures coming for Star Wars: The Force Awakens that will be on sale on Sept 4th! I’m looking forward to the Rey, Finn, Poe Dameron, and BB-8 figures, how about you?

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Funko Pop! Sandtrooper and Dewback coming to Walmart

This adorable Funko Pop! set is supposed to be coming to Walmart for Force Friday on Sept 4th and will resell for $20!  image001


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Hot Toys Han Solo & Chewbacca Figures – shipping soon?

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I pre-ordered these two back in winter and am awaiting to see if I actually get charged this week for my final payment on them. If you’ve been holding off on buying either the Hot Toys Han Solo or Chewbacca because you wanted to wait to see what production versions look like – there’s a good chance you won’t have to wait long! Come back here, when I get mine I’ll be reviewing them for you! Until then you can pre-order them both (or separately) at Sideshow.

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Hot Toys 1/6″ scale Princess Leia Figure – Pre-order now at Sideshow

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About This Sixth Scale Figure

“Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.” – Princess Leia

The brave and strong-willed Princess Leia is one of the most beloved characters in the original Star Wars trilogy. Her important role in leading the rebellion against the Galactic Empire is unforgettable to any Star Wars fan!

Sideshow Collectibles and Hot Toys are excited to officially present Luke Skywalker’s twin sister from Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope as the Princess Leia sixth scale Collectible Figure!

The movie-accurate collectible figure is specially crafted based on the image of Carrier Fisher as Princess Leia in the film, and features a newly developed head sculpt, detailed hair sculpture in Princess Leia’s iconic bun hair style, specially tailored costume, two types of blasters, and a figure stand.

This special edition includes a specially designed backdrop as a bonus accessory.

Star Wars fans, don’t miss the chance to add this wonderful collectible figure to your Star Wars collection!  Click HERE to pre-order!

Expected to Ship
Nov 2015 – Jan 2016
Star Wars
Sixth Scale Figure
Hot Toys
Product Size
10.20″ H (259.08mm)*
Dimensional Weight
Int’l Dim. Weight

<pSize and weight are approximate values. Learn more »

Product Sku


  • So Young, Lee (Head Sculpt)
  • JC. Hong (Head Paint)
  • Kojun (Head Art Direction)

© & ™ Lucasfilm Ltd. © 2015 Hot Toys Limited. All Rights Reserved.

What’s in the Box?

The Princess Leia Sixth Scale Collectible Figure specially features:

  • Authentic and detailed likeness of Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
  • A newly developed head sculpt with movie-accurate facial expression and make-up
  • Detailed hair sculpture of Princess Leia’s iconic hair style
  • Body with over 28 points of articulation
  • Approximately 26 cm tall
  • Five (5) pieces of interchangeable palms including:
    – One (1) pair of relaxed palms
    – One (1) pair of weapon holding palms
    – One (1) left palm for supporting weapon
  • Each head sculpt is specially hand-painted


  • One (1) white colored dress
  • One (1) white colored top
  • One (1) white colored belt
  • One (1) pair of white colored boots


  • One (1) blaster pistol
  • One (1) blaster rifle


  • Rectangular-shaped figure stand with Princess Leia nameplate and Star Wars logo
  • One (1) specially designed backdrop as a bonus accessory

Item shown is a prototype. When shipped, the final production piece may differ in appearance.

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Could the D23 Disney Store Exclusive 11.5″ Princess Leia Doll be the first of many to come?


D23 Limited edition Disney Store Princess Leia 11.5″ Doll exclusive.

Last weekend at Disney’s D23 convention they unveiled an exclusive Disney Store exclusive D23 11.5″ Princess Leia doll. There were a total of 450 in the limited run.

I didn’t attend but snatched one up online when since THIS is what I’ve been crowing about for years on this blog – 12″ scale Star Wars dolls aimed at GIRLS!

Fanboy cry, “But she has HAIR and she looks like Barbie!”

My reply, “Yes, EXACTLY, she’s not for YOU, go away!”

Leia finally arrived yesterday and I wanted to share this beauty in all of her glory. The doll comes in a crystal box that has background imagery that’s reminiscent of the Death Star. Since I sell loose Disney Dolls, I know that she’s on one of their fully jointed Jakks Pacific bodies that have jointed wrists, elbows, shoulders, waists, hips, knees, and ankles. The dolls have flat feet that you can adjust to wear in boots or heels. In the case of Leia she’s wearing lovely perfectly fitted white, flat footed boots.


11.5″ A New Hope Leia’s available to date: Hasbro 1996, D23 Disney Store Exclusive 2015, Sideshow 1/6 Scale Leia 2007, Vintage Kenner 12″ Princess Leia 1978.


Hot Toys 1/6 Scale Princess Leia Figure coming in 2016.

The D23 Exclusive Leia is officially the 4th Leia 11.5-12″ scale Star Wars A New Hope traditional costume doll that has ever been produced.

But wait isn’t there talk about another Leia coming from Hot Toys? Yes, she’s debuted at San Diego Comic Con 2015 this year and is available for pre-order now over at Sideshow Toys (of course I have her on pre-order.) So yes, a 5th Leia is on her way. I have tons of pics of her on my Star Wars Shrine Facebook feed.)

A part of me is beyond thrilled about this, I nearly jumped out of my seat and I literally screamed when I first saw the D23 doll. I then got sad after reading around and I realized that she was a show exclusive and not set to be in stores. Hopefully, this is just a test to see how popular the doll might be and hopefully the Mom’s who blasted Disney for not adding more Leia dolls to Disney Stores will get another earful if they don’t product mass market Leia dolls to sell alongside their other Princess dolls.

IMG_1218The price tag on her back was $49.95 which was roughly the same cost of the amazing Portrait Series of Queen Amidala and Leia dolls that came out back in 1999. The Disney doll is GORGEOUS. Not only does she have rooted hair, a custom sculpted face that resembles Carrie Fisher (the head is larger because that’s how all of the Disney Princess dolls are designed,) but she’s got boots, her gown, a belt (that you can barely see in box,) and a blaster.

The Hasbro Leia was the last time we got a playline doll. To Hasbro’s credit they gave her actual hair, but her huge scary butchy body and enormous feet make her very out of proportion. It always makes me sad that they never got around to being able to do a second version of the ANH doll using their the last generation female bodies and custom Carrie face that they used for the last Leia dolls, she would’ve been lovely.

IMG_1228Out of all four of the Leias, the D23 Leia is the only doll w/a fully lined gown. Vintage Leia had a never wrinkle, a bomb could go off by it and it will stay wrinkle, and hole free thick ’70’s polyester gown, Hasbro’s I think might’ve also been poly or a poly blend it does still lay nicely, Sideshow’s is rayon, flimsy, and not lined – considering out of all of the 4 Leia’s she retailed for the most money, that lack of quality is disappointing. Result out of all of them D23’s gown is divine and flowy looking.

Maybe yes the doll’s hands and arms aren’t strong enough to hold the giant blaster, but who cares? That’s not what girls look for in dolls. They want pretty clothes that last and real rooted hair that if it gets mussed up they can style themselves.

The doll overall is gorgeous and easily goes alongside Hasbro’s Portrait dolls for quality. For the price tag, I’d be happy to shell out $50 a doll if they’d make more Star Wars dolls aimed at girls in this quality.

IMG_1237I’m hoping that as “The Force Awakens” approaches that we learn that Disney and the Disney Store will be offering a line of dolls aimed at girls. I would love to be able to take one of these Leia’s out of box to examine her more closely for display. There’s no reason that they can’t offer character dolls from all of the films for girls so that they can play “Star Wars” along w/ their brothers who will be picking up the larger articulated non-fabric/hair figures. I really want a Rey doll just like this Leia.

This Leia was totally unexpected, here’s hoping that Disney has more promising surprises in store for marketing to girls!

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Will “Star Wars The Force Awakens” Market to girls?

StarWarsCelebrationBTS11Right now the whole world awaits the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the two trailers that have been released are exciting and seem to heavily focus on a growing new threat to the Republic and a central female protagonist played by Daisy Riley known only as “Rey.”

5543ca93db753b82389cbd74_vanity-fair-star-warsToday Vanity Fair magazine released a pic of an up and coming issue devoted to “The Force Awakens” with the new cast by Annie Lebowitz that harkens back to when “The Phantom Menace” and “Attack of the Clones” both came out. (Don’t get me started on the cover tag line “The Empire Reboots!” – hello it’s a story continuation, not a reboot you idiots!) What we can tell immediately from the photo is that Rey is certainly the central figure.

So if “The Force Awakens” has it’s story surrounding a female protagonist, what are the chances that Disney and Lucas Film Limited will create merchandise aimed specifically for girls for the film?

If you think the chances are good, think again. Hasbro’s attempts with the prequels to market to girls fell flat and as a result, they’ve never attempted to merchandise Star Wars to girls again. (Read my article “Where are the Padme dolls and collectibles” article for more.)


Monster High doll – Clawdeen

Currently Avengers 2 has hit the theaters and Black Widow, who is the most popular female comic book character in film today is blatantly missing from all merchandise. Irate cries from fans were met w/ shoulder shrugs from Disney execs who truly only see boys as a viable market for superhero movies and refuse to try to expand the market to girls.

This is asinine.

The entertainment world is a different landscape than it was back in 1999 when “The Phantom Menace” came out. Nerd girls have always been out there and now they’re reading, writing, drawing, and creating their own comic books that depict strong female characters. In the world of toys, Mattel’s “Monster High” toy line that’s filled w/ dolls who are not glamorous and can be viewed as scary are outselling Barbie by a huge gap. They’re a girls toy line that men also collect, proving that if done right sci-fi/fantasy/ horror collectibles can easily cross gender lines.


“Supernatural” is about to enter season 11 on The CW (which will make it the longest running sci-fi/horror series in TV history) – the series has predominantly been watched by female viewers, it’s taken having the series go into syndication for it to finally attract male viewers.

Today sci-fi television’s numbers are skewing towards equality: 60% male, 40% female are the viewing stats for the various sci-fi related genres. Men tend to lean towards more hard, technical sci-fi, women love supernatural, paranormal sci-fi. “Star Wars” has always been a unique franchise because it’s “sci-fi” meets western meets mythology. There’s something in the universe to appeal to anyone, regardless of your sex, geographic location, or age.

So if this is the growing trend that boys/girls interests are now blurred (need further proof of that, goto a convention where Chandler Riggs from “The Walking Dead” has a panel – you’ll be shocked – and horrified – by the vast numbers of little girls who come up and want to ask him questions) why is Disney so disinterested in trying to make more money by selling merchandise for everyone? Ever since the ’90’s with “The Little Mermaid” being a smash hit, Disney cashed in on the princess success wagon and rebuilt their financially crumbling empire by making a fortune off of their princess films. They tried unsuccessfully to find films on their own that were as lucrative as the princess films for the boy market.

They finally found that happy place with Pixar – but even Pixar films don’t bring in as much boy merchandising money as the princess films. Enter their unions with Marvel and Star Wars. Both of these franchises are huge for merchandise rights. They already had built in MALE fanbases and Disney wanted to exploit that by bringing in dollars that can be on the same scale as the Princess lines but now from the boy market that they never had a hold on.

indexIf Disney were to have candid talks with Hasbro about how merchandising sales have worked for them in the past, Hasbro will tell them that their attempt to make girls doll lines fell flat in 1999 and their pregnant Padme figures for “Revenge of the Sith” did not sell. This must mean girl figures don’t sell, right and girls don’t like these toys?

Well no, I explained in my other article why the Padme/Queen Amidala dolls didn’t sell – and the pregnant Padme figures were aimed at BOYS, not girls. It’s not shocking that boys would find no play value in a pregnant girl figure, whereas a series of pregnant Padme figures/dolls aimed at girls would have sold well.

There were leaked sketches a while back that there will be a 6″ Black Series Rey figure and there will likely be other Rey or old Leia toys in the Hasbro toy line. There are also two other female characters who were added later who will likely get figures. This is good news, but they’re still toys aimed at boys and not girls.

Her Universe is out there for girls to get their geek t-shirts and apparel on – but will there be Star Wars shirts for girls at mass market places like Walmart and Target? Will Disney ask Mattel or Jakks Pacific to make dolls of the main characters for girls like they did with “Cinderella” or “Maleficent?” I’d like to think that these things will happen but I’m doubtful. If none of this happens, if the toys are only made for boy and girls are ignored, will Disney even care or pay attention to angry cries from fans and mothers, or will they just say, “Pffft – here’s a new Elsa doll, shut up.”

Posted in Commentary, Star Wars New Movies | Tagged , , , , , ,

The Force Awakens Products Hit Stores for “Force Friday” Sept. 5th

The next generation of Star Wars toys, collectibles, books, and apparel is in range. is thrilled to announce that Star Wars: The Force Awakens products will land in our galaxy on September 4, 2015, at 12:01 a.m. — “Force Friday” — with stores around the world opening their doors at midnight for a special celebration of all things Star Wars. It will be a day long remembered.

“Every lightsaber, every action figure, every LEGO set tells a story for generations of Star Wars fans, and this global event is a celebration of those stories. We’re excited to be part of the countdown to this enormous movie moment,” said Josh Silverman, executive vice president, global licensing, Disney Consumer Products.

Fans wanting to be the first to get their hands on Star Wars: The Force Awakens merchandise can set their hyperspace and social media coordinates now: They will be able to visit their local retailer starting at midnight on September 4, and are encouraged to document their experience using the hashtags #ForceFriday and #MidnightMadness. A wide-range of products — from toys and collectibles, to books and comics, ebooks and apps, to apparel and lifestyle accessories — will be available at mass retailers and Disney Store locations worldwide, as well as on

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